Archive for the ‘Champions League’ Category

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The first thing we must do before looking at the draw itself is congratulate the northwest clubs for almost monopolising the Champion’s League places.

This year we will be looking for improvement from Everton and West Ham and, if we are going to have another London club this time, we would quite like West Ham to be it. So goodbye again to Arsenal and Chelsea and, with a little luck, Tottenham Hotspur. Welcome to the Europa League AGAIN!

Anyway, the draw has been kind to Manchester City, reasonable with Manchester United and Liverpool and quite tough on Tottenham. Here are the groups which contain the English teams. (more…)

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So the Champion’s League final was contested between two teams who, between them, had won almost a third of the total Champion’s Leagues ever held!

For Real Madrid it was another chance to make history. Last season they became the first team to successfully defend the title since the competition was rebranded from the old European Cup. This season they have become the first team to reach three consecutive finals on two occasions.

Between 1956 and 1960 they reached the final of the European Cup for five consecutive years, winning it every time, so it is no wonder that this trophy is considered to be their favourite! (more…)

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The domestic season isn’t over yet for Chelsea or Manchester United. The European season isn’t over yet for Real Madrid and Liverpool. So some fans still have celebrations in waiting and some have disappointment around the corner.

Both of the aforementioned seasons are over for Arsenal and they will hope for better next time out with their new manager who, hopefully for them, will have more of a clue about winning in Europe than Stubborn Old Man appeared to, despite his twenty-odd attempts! (more…)

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So Liverpool are through to the semi-finals of the Champion’s League having beaten Manchester City home and away in their quarter-final tie.

There is no doubt they deserve to be there as the damage was all done in the first leg at Anfield where City proved, yet again, that if their defence is put under any pressure they don’t have a defence!

The second leg may have been more interesting had a perfectly good goal from Leroy Sané not been disallowed. This would have seen City go in at half-time leading 2-0 and chomping at the bit for more in the second half. As it was, they left the field somewhat dispirited and weren’t the same team after the break. (more…)

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If Manchester City can beat Manchester United in the upcoming derby match they will he confirmed as Premier League champions.

It will be the earliest a club has ever been hailed as the winners and would set yet another record for Pep Guardiola’s team.

The question, seemingly on everybody’s lips, is can they do it at home to United? People appear to think that this would make it some kind of special achievement. Why? They only have to win ONE of their last seven games, why is this one so important? (more…)

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So there is a slight chance that England will pull out of the World Cup due to the current tension between the UK and Russia.

As is often the case when politics and sport meet there are rarely any winners.

Back in 1980 the United States, among others, boycotted the Moscow Olympic games. They then spent the whole fortnight pointing out how many medals they would have won had they been there. The boycott was in protest at the Russian invasion of Afghanistan earlier that year and achieved precisely nothing, a little like the invasion itself. (more…)

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As is often the case when a team comes up against Lionel Messi, he wins. On Wednesday night it was a case of Lionel Messi, (with a little help from Ousmane Dembele who, in turn, received a little help from Lionel Messi), 3 Chelsea 0.

The scoreline was a little harsh on Conte’s team as they played quite well, just as they had at Stamford Bridge in the first leg. The problem is that, at this level, if chances are not taken by one side then they usually are by the other and, when Messi gets chances, he usually gets goals. (more…)

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In a game where José Mourinho managed to outwit himself by starting Marouane Fellaini whilst leaving footballers like Juan Mata, Paul Pogba and Scott McTominay on the bench, the first half crawled by.

United played like a team who were 4-0 up from the first leg, not a team who needed to score to get through!

Sevilla weren’t much better but at least knew that if they could score on the break then United would need two. The problem was that neither team appeared to realise that they needed to score! (more…)

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At the time of writing England still has four representatives in the competition so the chances are reasonably good that one of them could win it. To an extent it depends on the draw for the quarter finals, particularly for Manchester City and Liverpool who are already through to that round.

Manchester United still have a potentially tricky second leg tie at home to Sevilla to overcome but should do so without major problems whilst Chelsea have the hardest task in that they need to either beat Barcelona in the Camp Nou or come away with a high scoring draw in order to progress. (more…)

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Why does UEFA have such strange ideas? Is it because FIFA, the world body, also has strange ideas and it feels the need to keep up with them? And how come the two never seem to agree on anything?

FIFA has already stated that VAR will be used in this year’s World Cup, supposedly the biggest tournament on the planet. UEFA have decided that it isn’t at an acceptable standard yet for the Champion’s League. So it’s fine for the world, just not for Europe!

We have mentioned, in a recent article, how FIFA’s “best player in the world” often isn’t considered to be the “best player in Europe”.

The World Cup itself isn’t called the “World Champion’s League” yet it has a similar format to the European club version. (more…)